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Florida Whitetail Experience

Old 07-18-2018, 05:53 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2

I am also in my twenties (27 in August), married, and with a Baby! I have been deer hunting since I was 10 years old. Started out hunting in Alabama with dogs (killed my first deer with a single shot .410 at 11 years old!) then moved on to Georgia after I met my now husband! Now I will also add on South FL (I live in Miami so it's a lot closer!!). I will tell you this. I have NEVER come across another person who is willing to give you the amount of information that was mentioned above! Many FL hunters are douche bags and everything is a damn competition for them. I have read each word that was said and it is described perfectly! Deer hunting in FL will be a first for me this year but I have hunted hogs many times and let me tell you.. It's not easy! Especially in the swamp! Outfitters are pretty much a guaranteed harvest which I personally do not consider hunting. What the other user mentioned is basically FL Hunting 101 at it's best from an actual hunter. Some things I would like to add to your backpack list (up to you of course) is take 2-3 MRE's and definitely a Solar Charger for your phone/gps with an extra cable just in case!! You'd be surprised how much you may need it depending on your situation. Weather here as you know is crazy so anything can happen! I like to take paracord as well. Although where I hunt I know my way around, you never know if you need to stay overnight in the middle of the woods or if you get lost tracking a deer/hog. Trail markers are a must for tracking at night! They are a life saver! I buy the ones you can clip to a branch. On the way back I just un-clip it and put it in my pocket until I reach camp and organize my bag again. I also take 2 flashlights and keep one head light on for use on the stand and extra batteries. I too also take a handgun. Unfortunately all I have is a S&W M&P Shield 9mm.. I just take extra mags and ammo. It's better than nothing. Hunting in FL is a real challenge. If you can hunt in FL, you can hunt anywhere! Pack your backpack for survival is what I do. Like I said, you never know! I have an archery permit for Dinner Island this year and I am stoked!! If you have any questions about my things or how it looks where I hunt, Check out my youtube channel. I have 1 or 2 videos to give you a general idea. Search SouthernHuntress829 and i'm there! Good luck to you and be safe out there! Hunting is a great way to bring REAL organic food to the table for your family! Have fun!
** Forgot to add on!**
When it comes to hunting on the ground or on a stand, a climber is the way to go!! You can always change position if the sun is hitting directly or if you need to move to another spot and you can hunt higher! ALWAYS wear a harness and tie with a rope the foot platform to the chair platform in case if it slips off the tree you're not stuck up there. Give it a 2-3ft gap. I have a Summit SD Viper Crush Edition climber. It's like $250 but so comfortable and worth the money! Spend more now to spend less later!

Last edited by Krizia829; 07-18-2018 at 05:57 AM. Reason: Forgot to add on information
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:51 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 508

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Old 11-22-2018, 03:33 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: St . Pete
Posts: 49

I got a set of Third Hand Treestand Stabilizer straps for my Viper SD... they are amazing. Your stand does not move once you climb and sit.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:15 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 17,493

I have to agree with krizia829. This topic is a wealth of useful info for people hunting in Florida, hunting from a treestand, whitetail hunting and shooting a rifle from the standing position with a sling for support, etc. Too many good things to list and it also comes with pics, maps, charts and graphs. I have pinned this to the top so newer members can find it more easily and benefit from its' wealth of knowledge. Good Hunting!
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:53 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,047

Dayyyummmmm!!! This stuff is pure gold for just about any level hunter. I've never hunter Florida but now have a pretty good idea on the terrain and challenges.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:55 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 100

I feel like I could move to Fl and be a pro hunter after reading all that!
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:58 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 100

hardcastonly do you know anything about hunting Maryland lol
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:30 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: fla
Posts: 928

no I have yet too hunt the area around MARYLAND,
but I have hunted northern California in the warner wilderness,
WYOMING in several areas
idaho once
all over mid Colorado and the white river areas , meeker,eagle,gypsum,rifle, gunnison , and near woodland park, aspen etc.
dozens of years
some areas in northern MAINE up near paterson
and in florida several dozen, management areas
ocala, corbett,browns farm, bear island.....
(too many to remember them all)

keep in mind the basics remain constant, get the proper licences,
you first need too research the area regulations,
try to talk to game wardens and biologists several times prior to the season,areal photos help if current.
youll need to know what your hunting, and any limitations,
like shotguns only or 500 sq inches of orange in a vest and hat.
or limits on tree stands or vehicles camping or road access.
re-read the whole thread several times,you increase the odds by being alert and noting details
get a topo map, of the area, youll need to stay safe, warm, dry , you need decent boots and a day pack.
if available get a map marked with local property boundary lines
call the local fish and game office get current info, if you can find a local mentor so much better.
use your brain,look over the terrain and be aware that most deer will try to avoid roads and camp sites.
you need to know what the local game eats where it tends to bed, and be able to recognize potential feed like white oak,
wondering aimlessly hoping to see deer is a waste of effort in most cases , work smart not hard, if water is scarce, water holes are a used asset.
if theres a big camp site try to use the flood of foot traffic at dawn, to your advantage,
look for natural funnels like fenced highways or cliff faces that tend to force game traveling through an area too bunch up
look for escape routes. realize most hunters are adverse to putting in the effort to cross streams or climb steep embankments
some of the best areas may require wading a small stream or climbing a steep grade to gain access.
if you get a shot never assume you missed, even well hit deer can rush off as if totally untouched only to fall 50 yards into the tree line.
be aware of whats beyond the target, you don,t want a bullet to carry into property and cause damage.
get a decent cooler and bags of ice, youll need cold water or soda and if you score youll need to cool the venison.
a quality tree stand can be huge asset as can quality binoculars
If you intend to hunt the area regularly start a log book a and buy and use an accurate GPS.
log terrain, take pictures ,note game, vegetation, and time of day and date seen info
divide and label the area in your log, into 1/8 mile squares for reference

heres a quick memory jog list, for MY hunting day pack (you may not need everything but it may jog your memories or cause you too think.)
(remember you might be forced to stay out over night, & weather is unpredictable)
skinning knife
compact blade sharpener
area topo maps
cell phone (car charger and/or back-up batteries)
several lighters
several mil surplus trioxane heat tabs
granola bars
rain poncho
2 gallon zip lock bags
small block & tackle hoist & rope(50 ft parachute cord)
spare ammo
heavy hoodie jacket
large plastic tarp
other meds
lip chapstick
water purification tablets, or filter/pump
down vest
pack of wetnaps
toilet paper
emergency food
on your belt
large knife or light tomahawk, or kukuri
the cold steel (TRAIL MASTER, or ( KUKRI) are good choices

anything that could get screwed up if you fall in a creek like medicine, licences, cell phones etc. gets double zip loc bagged

Last edited by hardcastonly; 02-09-2019 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:55 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: fla
Posts: 928

I got asked about the log book and grid area notes concept
its really not difficult and over time its a noticeable advantage over the throngs that wonder aimlessly hoping to luck into stupid deer.
you order the map of the area you hunt , get a ruler and a black pen and grid off the generally 24" x 36" map into about 4" to 6" square grid sections
neatly label each square on the grid A-Z an if required to have more, AA-ZZ use your GPS to identify where your at when hunting, label and photos or notes with the grid location and date
over time youll see very definite patterns in game travel emerge, now when my DAD was alive he had a private pilot licence so I had him fly the grid prior too and post season, so I could get a grasp,
on how the Arial view was but thats just a bonus.
you'll want a quality binder to protect notes that has easy access to add pages and a place for a calendar and several pens for dates photos and a gps
you'll also want a couple 2.5 gallon zip loc bags to protect the notes and binder in your truck or back pack,
yes it takes a bit of extra effort, but youll be far more successful as a result of the knowledge gained and retained.


Florida Public Land AreasSelect the public land area you're interested in to start designing your custom map.

Ownership TypeArea NameCOUNTYAlligator Lake Management AreaCOUNTYDevil's HammockCOUNTYLake TraceyCOUNTYThomas Creek PreserveFEDERALAbe Trull Research Natural AreaFEDERALApalachicola National ForestFEDERALApalachicola Savannah Research Natural AreaFEDERALArthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALAvon Park Air Force RangeFEDERALBig Cypress National PreserveFEDERALBig Mullet Key Research Natural AreaFEDERALByrd Hammock Research Natural AreaFEDERALChassahowitzka National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALChipola Experimental ForestFEDERALChoctawhatchee National ForestFEDERALCoggins Branch Research Natural AreaFEDERALCottrell Key Research Natural AreaFEDERALEglin Air Force BaseFEDERALEverglades National ParkFEDERALGreat White Heron National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALGum Swamp Research Natural AreaFEDERALHoney Creek Research Natural AreaFEDERALKey West National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALLake Woodruff National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALLevy Ditch Research Natural AreaFEDERALLittle Mullet Key Research Natural AreaFEDERALLower Suwannee National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALLoxahatchee Slough Public Use Natural AreaFEDERALLoxahatchee Slough Research Natural AreaFEDERALMerritt Island National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALOcala National ForestFEDERALOkefenokee National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALOsceola National ForestFEDERALSt. Marks National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALSt. Vincent National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALTen Thousand Islands National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALTyndall Air Force BasePRIVATEFlint Rock TractSTATEAllapattah FlatsSTATEAndrews Wildlife Management AreaSTATEApalachee Wildlife Management AreaSTATEApalachicola National Estuarine Research ReserveSTATEApalachicola River Water Management AreaSTATEApalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATEAucilla Wildlife Management AreaSTATEBabcock Ranch PreserveSTATEBayard Conservation AreaSTATEBelmore State ForestSTATEBig Bend Wildlife Management AreaSTATEBig Shoals Conservation AreaSTATEBig Shoals State ForestSTATEBig Shoals State ParkSTATEBlackwater River State ForestSTATEBlue Cypress Conservation AreaSTATEBox-R Wildlife Management AreaSTATEBuck Lake Conservation AreaSTATECamp Blanding Military ReservationSTATECaravelle Ranch Wildlife Management AreaSTATECary State ForestSTATECedar Key Scrub State ReserveSTATECharles H. Bronson State ForestSTATEChoctawhatchee River Water Management AreaSTATECypress Creek Conservation AreaSTATEDinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management AreaSTATEDunns Creek Conservation AreaSTATEDupuis ReserveSTATEEconfina Conservation AreaSTATEEconfina Creek Water Management AreaSTATEEmeralda Marsh Conservation AreaSTATEEtoniah Creek State ForestSTATEEverglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management AreaSTATEFellsmere Water Management AreaSTATEFisheating Creek Wildlife Management AreaSTATEFlying Eagle RanchSTATEFort Drum Marsh Conservation AreaSTATEFort White Mitigation Park Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATEFour Creeks State ForestSTATEFred C. Babcock-Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management AreaSTATEFrog Pond/L-31 N Transition LandsSTATEGeorgia Pacific-Lochloosa Conservation EasementSTATEGoethe State ForestSTATEGreen SwampSTATEGuana River Wildlife Management AreaSTATEHalf Moon Wildlife Management AreaSTATEHerky Huffman/Bull Creek Wildlife Management AreaSTATEHilochee Wildlife Management AreaSTATEHoley Land Wildlife Management AreaSTATEHolton Creek Conservation AreaSTATEJ. W. Corbett Wildlife Management AreaSTATEJennings State ForestSTATEJoe Budd Wildlife Management AreaSTATEJohn C. and Mariana Jones/Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATEKissimmee Chain of LakesSTATEKissimmee RiverSTATEL. Kirk Edwards Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATELafayette Forest Mitigation Park Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATELake George Conservation AreaSTATELake George State ForestSTATELake Monroe Conservation AreaSTATELake PanasoffkeeSTATELake Talquin State ForestSTATELake Wales Ridge State ForestSTATELake Wales Ridge Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATELittle Big Econ State ForestSTATELittle River Conservation AreaSTATELochloosa Wildlife Conservation AreaSTATELog Landing Conservation AreaSTATELower Escambia River Water Management AreaSTATELower Steinhatchee Conservation AreaSTATEMallory Swamp Restoration AreaSTATEMarjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway State Recreation and Conservation AreaSTATEMatanzas State ForestSTATEMiddle Aucilla Conservation AreaSTATEMyakka State ForestSTATENewnans Lake Conservation AreaSTATEOcklawaha Prairie Restoration AreaSTATEOkaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management AreaSTATEOlustee Creek Conservation AreaSTATEOsprey UnitSTATEPerdido River Water Management AreaSTATEPicayune Strand State ForestSTATEPine Log State ForestSTATEPoint Washington State ForestSTATEPotts PreserveSTATERaiford Wildlife Management AreaSTATERalph E. Simmons State ForestSTATERelay Tract Conservation EasementsSTATERiver Lakes Conservation AreaSTATERock Springs Run State ReserveSTATERoss Prairie State ForestSTATERotenberger Wildlife Management AreaSTATESalt Lake Wildlife Management AreaSTATESanta Fe Swamp Conservation AreaSTATESeminole Ranch Conservation AreaSTATESeminole State ForestSTATESnipe Island UnitSTATESouthern GladesSTATESpirit of the Wild Wildlife Management AreaSTATEStormwater Treatment AreasSTATESuwannee Ridge Mitigation Park Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATET. M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management AreaSTATETate's Hell State ForestSTATETate's Hell Wildlife Management AreaSTATEThree Forks Conservation AreaSTATEThree Lakes Wildlife Management AreaSTATETiger Bay State ForestSTATETosohatchee Wildlife Management AreaSTATETriple N Ranch Wildlife Management AreaSTATETroy Spring Conservation AreaSTATETwelve Mile Swamp Conservation AreaSTATETwin Rivers State ForestSTATEUpper Chipola River Water Management AreaSTATEUpper HillsboroughSTATEUpper Lakes Basin WatershedSTATEUpper Steinhatchee Conservation AreaSTATEWakulla State ForestSTATEWatermelon Pond Mitigation Park Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATEWithlacoochee State ForestSTATEYellow River Water Management AreaSTATEYellow River Wildlife Management Area - Escribano PointSTATEYucca Pens Unit

Last edited by hardcastonly; 02-10-2019 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 04-02-2019, 10:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 1

Thank you so much..
This info is really helpful.. I like this..
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